Lineker discovers some things in life really are too good to be true

World Cup Diary

Gary Lineker led the chuckles as he read a "report" from a top US website. "GOAL! Mexico 0-2 USA. Two soccer points to no score! Eddie Lewis makes a cross-pitch play from the left zone, finding Landon Donovan. He top-bodies the sphere into the score bag and Mexico have a double-negative stat!" Hee hee, naïve Americans. Don't start explaining the offside rule, hee hee. Too good to be true? Precisely....

Australia might rule much in the world of sport but football's not up there (yet).

However, Shane Warne professes to be a fan... and he was shouting for England. "I don't know if I should be admitting this, but I've actually been supporting the Poms," Warne said in his newspaper column. "It's a weird feeling yelling, 'C'mon the Poms' at the TV." He also revealed: "Paul Scholes is a fiery type who appeals to me because he's got a bit of go."

The next Colemanballs is likely to feature a lot of TV's Garth Crooks. He was at his "best" with the following opening line: "Nicky, last night you watched Brazil play Belgium." Er, yes, except that "Nicky Butt" was actually Paul Scholes.

More journalists applied for accreditation and then watched yesterday's Senegal v Turkey match than the England quarter-final against Brazil. The explanation is that the game in Osaka could have featured Japan and the accreditation requests were made before the last eight were known.

It started with beers and ended in tears but Ireland's fans have been named the best by organisers. JAWOC tournament director Junji Ogura said: "They have provided amazing support to their team. I believe they have taught all Japanese fans the joy of supporting football. They were the best fans at the World Cup."

British bookmakers hope the Germans continue to defy logic. "If they win it would make us a seven-figure profit," said William Hill. In Hong Kong the tally of arrested bookies since the event began has now reached 35. Betting on football is banned there, but given the results one understands why so many are gambling with seven-year jail terms.

We're down to the last four to find the best team in the world, and in a week we'll also know who's the worst.

Officially Montserrat, ranked 203, are, but they can shed that tag when they take on Bhutan next Sunday. Bhutan is a remote Himalayan kingdom with the most mountainous terrain in the world. Montserrat is a Caribbean island with seven active volcanoes. To follow the action you can log on to www.theotherfinal.com

North Korea has been showing edited highlights of the World Cup, but no matches featuring South Korea. The 150-mile Demilitarised Zone is fenced off and both sides have built huge billboards praising their political system and ridiculing the other, while loudspeakers churn out a daily fodder of propaganda. Now the South have a new weapon: football success. Their actions are speaking as loudly as their words.

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